Saturday, November 17, 2007

Mulberry Street 1900

This photograph gives entry into the amazing vitality of Little Italy on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, New York City. It was taken in 1900 when the nation took all comers and millions accepted the invitation.

{Click image to view larger version.}
It's from the archives of the Detroit Publishing Co. The photographer and occasion for the photograph are not given.

Here is a link to the full photograph in all its glory; it's very large. Retrieve uncompressed archival TIFF version. Look at it now.

And here are some crops from the photo. I'll let them speak for themselves. Apart from the third one and the last, you can see a larger view by clicking on the image.

We may all remember "And to Think that I saw it on Mulberry Street," the book by Dr. Suess.

My memory is of a street on the Lower East Side not far from where I worked as a VISTA volunteer in 1967-68. I mentioned this work in a blog post recently.

At that time I lived on East 5th near Tompkins Square Park. The building is just out of view, mid-right in this photo:

Strangely, the portion of Mulberry Street I remember was a vibrant neighborhood of Jewish immigrants from Eastern Europe and their descendants while the portion shown in the photo, shows a teeming portion of Little Italy.

This map shows where I lived, where I worked, and the two ethnically different parts of Mulberry Street. The blue arrow at right points to the building where I lived in a walk-up fourth floor studio. The middle blue arrow points to the approximate location of Mobilization for Youth, home base for the work I did (which work took me to many places in Manhattan and Brooklyn). The left arrow points to the Mulberry Street I remember and the red arrow points to Mulberry Street in Little Italy.

{Click to see larger version. Credit:}

Here is a link to the catalog entry for this photograph in LS's Prints and Photographs catalog.

The catalog gives links to the various states of the photograph:

color film copy transparency
Medium resolution JPEG version (71 kilobytes)
Retrieve higher resolution JPEG version (229 kilobytes)
Retrieve uncompressed archival TIFF version (65 megabytes)

color film copy neg.
Medium resolution JPEG version (78 kilobytes)
Retrieve higher resolution JPEG version (287 kilobytes)


Alan said...

Hi, Jeff. I like to see this post. First, because of the coincidence. I posted that photo of Mulberry Street time ago, at (the old) Corriente. I want to leave here the link:

Now it's great to see the details!

(To me, as a foreigner, it brings back memories of some movies I liked)


Jeff said...

Hi, Alan, Thanks for the link to the photos on your old site. I am glad you like the Mulberry Street photo. It took me a while to locate a copy on the internet and another while before I got the idea of enlarging parts of it.

Best wishes, Jeff

Alan said...

Nice idea, good job. It moves in the details.

Really I hadn't seen a photo this size (65 MB) before, I'm downloading it.


ej said...

Thanks so much for this post. I came across this photo a week or so ago - it was on the wall in two of New York's most famous pizzerias - Di Faras in Brooklyn and Lombardi's in Little Italy. The picture fascinated me, and I'm grateful to you for the TIFF.